The melodic beat of drums; the rushing of a powerful river. These are the sounds that greeted visitors and guests at the recent official opening of the new Visitor Centre at French River Provincial Park.
About 100 people gathered to hear the Minister of Natural Resources, David Ramsay, talk about the many cultures that have contributed to the area’s past and how the history of the river is brought to life through the exhibits.
The Visitor Centre is located off of Hwy 69, north of Parry Sound. It’s been a labour of love for dozens of people, local communities and organizations. The August 11th opening celebrates their efforts to animate the rich history of the French River through dramatic exhibits and recovered and reproduced artifacts. The “Voices of the River” are featured through narrated stories from the past — as well as recent history.
More than 600 visitors per day have taken a walk back in time by following the trail through the exhibits since the centre opened.
“We’ve had people from all over the world come through — Australia, Ghana, Germany, El Salvador and more. Many have commented on how educational and impressive the exhibits area,” says Leslie Joynt, the Assistant Park Superintendent. Summer hours for the centre are 10am – 8pm. Autumn hours are still to be determined.
To contact the visitor centre, call (705) 857-1630. For general information about French River Provincial Park, visit www.ontarioparks.com.